Gritty 80s Crime Films

by LukeofURL | created - 14 Nov 2018 | updated - 14 Nov 2018 | Public
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1. 8 Million Ways to Die (1986)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

29 Metascore

Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Rosanna Arquette, Alexandra Paul, Randy Brooks

Votes: 4,298 | Gross: $1.31M

2. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

R | 116 min | Action, Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer

Votes: 27,872 | Gross: $17.31M

3. Thief (1981)

R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, Jim Belushi

Votes: 23,605 | Gross: $11.49M

4. Year of the Dragon (1985)

R | 134 min | Action, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Mickey Rourke, John Lone, Ariane, Leonard Termo

Votes: 13,458 | Gross: $18.70M

5. Black Rain (1989)

R | 125 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw

Votes: 47,795 | Gross: $46.21M

6. Cobra (1986)

R | 87 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

25 Metascore

A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness to a strange murderous cult with far-reaching plans.

Director: George P. Cosmatos | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson

Votes: 65,034 | Gross: $49.04M

7. 48 Hrs. (1982)

R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

71 Metascore

A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O'Toole, Frank McRae

Votes: 66,604 | Gross: $78.87M

8. Red Heat (1988)

R | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

61 Metascore

A tough Russian policeman is forced to partner up with a cocky Chicago police detective when he is sent to Chicago to apprehend a Georgian drug lord who killed his partner and fled the country.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross

Votes: 62,305 | Gross: $34.99M

9. Johnny Handsome (1989)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

After being double crossed and thrown in jail, a deformed gangster gets a new face and rehabilitation, but his desire for revenge looms.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 8,580 | Gross: $7.24M

10. Cruising (1980)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

43 Metascore

A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen, Richard Cox

Votes: 17,992 | Gross: $19.80M

11. The Exterminator (1980)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York City. The man (Robert Ginty) then transforms into a violent killer, turning New York City into a great war zone, and Christopher George is the only one to stop him.

Director: James Glickenhaus | Stars: Robert Ginty, Samantha Eggar, Christopher George, Steve James

Votes: 4,763

12. Extreme Prejudice (1987)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

51 Metascore

A Texas Ranger and a ruthless narcotics kingpin - they were childhood friends, now they are adversaries...

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Michael Ironside, Maria Conchita Alonso

Votes: 5,912 | Gross: $11.31M

13. Vigilante (1982)

R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

When his wife and son are brutalized by thugs and a corrupt criminal justice system puts the perpetrators back on the street, a New York City factory worker turns vigilante to find some measure of bloody justice.

Director: William Lustig | Stars: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright, Rutanya Alda

Votes: 2,682

14. Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

R | 102 min | Drama

Set in Brooklyn during the 1950s against a backdrop of union corruption and violence. A prostitute falls in love with one of her customers. Also a disturbed man discovers that he is homosexual.

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Stephen Lang, Burt Young, Peter Dobson

Votes: 5,603 | Gross: $1.73M

15. 52 Pick-Up (1986)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

55 Metascore

A secret fling between a man and his mistress leads to blackmail and murder.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, Vanity, John Glover

Votes: 4,678 | Gross: $5.19M

16. Prince of the City (1981)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption, and soon realises he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, Richard Foronjy, Don Billett

Votes: 6,908 | Gross: $8.12M

17. Band of the Hand (1986)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

34 Metascore

Five juvenile lost causes are sent to the Everglades where a war veteran tries to reform them using survival tactics. Their new skills and resolve are tested when a Miami drug lord targets them for trying to clean up their neighborhood.

Director: Paul Michael Glaser | Stars: Stephen Lang, Michael Carmine, Lauren Holly, John Cameron Mitchell

Votes: 2,625 | Gross: $4.87M

18. Fort Apache the Bronx (1981)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama

49 Metascore

In New York, South Bronx's main police precinct is nicknamed Fort Apache by its employees who feel like troopers surrounded by hostiles in a wild west isolated outpost.

Director: Daniel Petrie | Stars: Paul Newman, Edward Asner, Ken Wahl, Danny Aiello

Votes: 5,449 | Gross: $29.20M

19. Night of the Juggler (1980)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A tough, New York City ex-cop relentlessly searches for his kidnapped teenage daughter whom is held by a twisted psycho after mistaking her for the daughter of a wealthy businessman.

Directors: Robert Butler, Sidney J. Furie | Stars: James Brolin, Cliff Gorman, Richard S. Castellano, Linda Miller

Votes: 653

20. Ms .45 (1981)

R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys, Darlene Stuto

Votes: 8,076

21. Nighthawks (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

Conservative street cop Deke DaSilva reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention. But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge.

Directors: Bruce Malmuth, Gary Nelson | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Rutger Hauer, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner

Votes: 16,648 | Gross: $14.91M

22. Alphabet City (1984)

R | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A New York City drug dealer decides to get out of the business, but has to flee from mobsters.

Director: Amos Poe | Stars: Vincent Spano, Michael Winslow, Kate Vernon, Jami Gertz

Votes: 575

23. Fear City (1984)

R | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Strippers in Manhattan are being stalked and maimed by a psycho-killer. A conflicted ex-boxer-turned-talent-manager and his business partner and friend, who represent some of the girls, set out to find him before he strikes again.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Tom Berenger, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Scalia, Melanie Griffith

Votes: 2,833

24. Cutter's Way (1981)

R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

70 Metascore

Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.

Director: Ivan Passer | Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Ann Dusenberry

Votes: 4,784 | Gross: $1.73M

25. Street Smart (1987)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

A New York journalist lies when his fake story about a pimp describes a real pimp up for murder.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Kathy Baker, Mimi Rogers, Jay Patterson

Votes: 2,647 | Gross: $1.12M

26. Relentless (1989)

R | 92 min | Crime, Thriller

Two Los Angeles police detectives, cynical veteran Malloy and cocky rookie Dietz, hunt for a serial killer, an ex-cop named Taylor, who randomly chooses his victims from a phone directory.

Director: William Lustig | Stars: Judd Nelson, Robert Loggia, Leo Rossi, Meg Foster

Votes: 1,312 | Gross: $6.99M

27. Vice Squad (1982)

R | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A single mother prostitute, who goes by the name Princess, finds herself forced to work undercover for the police in order to apprehend a homicidal, misogynistic pimp named Ramrod, who will do anything not to get arrested.

Director: Gary Sherman | Stars: Season Hubley, Gary Swanson, Wings Hauser, Pepe Serna

Votes: 1,821 | Gross: $13.25M

28. Miami Connection (1987)

R | 83 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

A martial arts rock band goes up against a band of motorcycle ninjas who have tightened their grip on Florida's narcotics trade.

Directors: Woo-sang Park, Y.K. Kim | Stars: Y.K. Kim, Vincent Hirsch, Joseph Diamand, Maurice Smith

Votes: 4,474

29. Manhunter (1986)

R | 120 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

75 Metascore

Former F.B.I. profiler Will Graham (William Petersen) returns to service to pursue a deranged serial killer named "the Tooth Fairy" (Tom Noonan) by the media.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Brian Cox

Votes: 62,945 | Gross: $8.62M

30. Murphy's Law (1986)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An action-packed thriller starring Charles Bronson as Jack Murphy, a cop who is running to stay alive long enough to even the score with his wife's killer.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Charles Bronson, Kathleen Wilhoite, Carrie Snodgress, Robert F. Lyons

Votes: 4,589 | Gross: $9.95M

31. 10 to Midnight (1983)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

12 Metascore

An LAPD detective and his rookie partner are on the trail of a psychopathic young man who is murdering young women.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis

Votes: 6,298 | Gross: $7.10M

32. Fighting Back (I) (1982)

R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama

It's a hard crime story about a Philadelphia shop owner who has enough of the criminals' violences and ravages. He organizes a patrol of civil people. It all starts to go wrong because his ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Tom Skerritt, Patti LuPone, Michael Sarrazin, Yaphet Kotto

Votes: 429 | Gross: $3.34M

33. Death Wish II (1982)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

11 Metascore

Architect Paul Kersey once again becomes a vigilante when he tries to find the five street punks who murdered his daughter and housekeeper, this time on the dark streets of Los Angeles.

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 13,913 | Gross: $16.10M

34. The Long Good Friday (1980)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An up-and-coming gangster is tested by the insurgence of an unknown, very powerful threat.

Director: John Mackenzie | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Leo Dolan

Votes: 18,264

35. Vice Academy (1989)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Crime

Two female cops go undercover to bust a porno ring.

Director: Rick Sloane | Stars: Linnea Quigley, Ginger Lynn, Karen Russell, Jayne Hamil

Votes: 510

36. Raw Deal (1986)

R | 106 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

44 Metascore

A former FBI agent turned small-town sheriff agrees to help the FBI chief infiltrate the Chicago mafia when the FBI chief's son is killed by them.

Director: John Irvin | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathryn Harrold, Sam Wanamaker, Paul Shenar

Votes: 29,583 | Gross: $16.21M

37. Tightrope (1984)

R | 114 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

New Orleans single dad and cop Wes Block (Clint Eastwood) goes after a serial rapist-killer, but when he gets too close to the target, the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted.

Director: Richard Tuggle | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Geneviève Bujold, Dan Hedaya, Alison Eastwood

Votes: 15,169 | Gross: $48.14M

38. The Dead Pool (1988)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

46 Metascore

Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan must stop a sick secret contest to murder local celebrities, which includes himself as a target.

Director: Buddy Van Horn | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, Evan C. Kim

Votes: 39,111 | Gross: $37.90M

39. Sudden Impact (1983)

R | 117 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

52 Metascore

A rape victim is exacting revenge on her aggressors in a small town outside San Francisco. "Dirty" Harry Callahan, on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, Bradford Dillman

Votes: 39,213 | Gross: $67.64M

40. Wanted: Dead or Alive (1986)

R | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Bounty hunter Nick Randall (Rutger Hauer) is offered two hundred fifty thousand dollars by the C.I.A. to get the terrorist behind the bombing of a Los Angeles, California movie theater. Nick quit the C.I.A. because he couldn't trust them. Can they be trusted now, and can he stop the terrorists?

Director: Gary Sherman | Stars: Rutger Hauer, Gene Simmons, Robert Guillaume, Mel Harris

Votes: 4,228 | Gross: $7.56M

41. Black Moon Rising (1986)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

53 Metascore

A thief, Quint, is hired by the Justice Department to steal incriminating tapes from a corrupt corporation. The tapes vanish when Quint hides them in the back of a hydrodynamic powered racing car that is stolen by a hot car ring.

Director: Harley Cokeliss | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton, Robert Vaughn, Richard Jaeckel

Votes: 4,969 | Gross: $6.64M

42. Angel Heart (1987)

X | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 77,340 | Gross: $17.19M

43. Barfly (1987)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Director: Barbet Schroeder | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Alice Krige, Jack Nance

Votes: 18,128 | Gross: $3.22M

44. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 29,656 | Gross: $24.06M

45. I, the Jury (1982)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A PI investigates the murder of his one-armed friend, a PI working on a case. Clues lead to a sex clinic. Bodies pile up.

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Armand Assante, Barbara Carrera, Laurene Landon, Alan King

Votes: 1,392 | Gross: $1.52M

46. The Punisher (1989)

89 min | Action, Crime, Drama